A Beautiful Lie
Label: Virgin Records
Three years after their surprising debut, 30 Seconds returned with A Beautiful Lie, an edgy, emotionally charged album that has actor-cum-rock star Jared Leto recalling other heavy post-grungers like Incubus and Filter. It's Leto who drives this thing -- all affected moaning and, when the occasion calls for it, ragged screaming -- but the well-studied rock formulas behind him never really have the punch that the band's heroes are so capable of delivering. Of all the high-gloss rockers, the best pair comes right at the front with the big title track and "The Kill."